Thursday, 8 July 2010

Seaweed-flavoured beef

Because their feeding habits probably lend the beef an extra dimension of flavour, these Angus-cross bullocks on the foreshore southwest of Islandmore put me in mind of Luing cattle, a famously hardy, manageable breed developed on the island of Luing in the Inner Hebrides after the Second World War, whose unique flavour is partly attributed to the seaweed in their diet.
The Luing breed came from first crossing Highland heifers with Shorthorn bulls; then crossing the heifer progeny with Shorthorns.
When I was growing up in Co.Down, Shorthorns were ubiquitous; then European breeds were introduced which were, well.. bigger, and therefore more profitable. When steroidal additives were added to the equation the result was difficult, headstrong stock, and in fact a neighbouring farmer was complaining recently that your average bullock's disposition isn't what it used to be. Shorthorns were a pleasure to work with and I assume it's the Shorthorn component in Luing that makes them, too, more manageable (the hardiness, of course, comes from the Highland in their blood).

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